Photo of Paul competing in the 6 Foot Track

Paul

My accident took place on 20th February 2014 following a workplace meeting, when I was hit by a French cyclist outside the Ritz Picture Theatre on the footpath. I fell backwards, hit my head, lost consciousness and was admitted to St Vincent’s Hospital. My initial CT brain scan showed extensive acute subdural haematoma over the right frontal lobe. I underwent a right-sided decompression craniotomy and evacuation of subdural haemorrhage.

I remained in St Vincent’s ICU and Acute Care with poor neurological symptoms. During this time about half of my skull was missing and was replaced three-and-a-half months later. There were many complications during this period of time, I suffered from post-traumatic amnesia for 123 days but my loving family never gave up. The next six months of recovery took place at Royal Rehab, I was wheelchair restricted, the therapy was difficult at times but with the supportive Rehab staff and my family, I pushed through many barriers. I then had additional complications with fluid on the brain which resulted in a shunt being placed in September 2014. I was wheeled into St Vincent’s, and eight days later on my return, I walked with great determination back into Royal Rehab which surprised many therapists and staff. This was the moment I truly felt that I was taking positive steps forward in my recovery and this is when I started to seriously believe one day I would be able to go home. I have six-and-a-half months of nil memory during 2014, through the assistance of photos and a journal from Janette, I have been able to reacquaint this lost time of my life.

My wife, sons, Leigh and Brook, extended family, together with a strong network of close friends throughout the Central Coast have all been astonishingly supportive and kind. From the moment of my accident, Janette attended both St Vincent’s and Royal Rehab daily to provide support and assistance to me and has been heavily involved in all aspects of my rehabilitation and therapy.

My sincere appreciation to the Royal Rehab staff who worked with me to give me greater confidence and independence as I moved from Room 12 to New Haven and then the significant day finally came when I said goodbye to the Royal Rehab team and headed back to my family home at Avoca Beach, with all modifications complete, thankfully, the proposed lift installation was not required.

Since leaving and becoming an outpatient of Royal Rehab:

  • My 1 on 1 carers commenced at 40 hours per week and reduced to nil by August 2015.
  • I returned to work in May 2015. My driver’s licence was reinstated in August 2015.
  • I am an active member of Terrigal Trotters Running Club, attending regularly the Saturday morning activities as a Life Member and Volunteering at the Bay to Bay Fundraiser for Central Coast Local Charities.
  • Renewal of my Randwick-Petersham Cricket Legends Society Membership.
  • I have been privileged to share my story at a Rotary Meeting, several business groups and a live ABC radio interview with my Neurosurgeon Dr Timothy Steele.
  • I have been able to continue wonderful friendships with many friends who assisted me greatly during my recovery, I sincerely thank my wonderful loving family and friends for their sensational support.